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Elton Ilirjani on New York street Style and how It’s at the Roots of their Modeling Career

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Making a difference in the world requires taking a stand. Genderless model Elton Ilirjani has made their stand known as a non-binary model and using their growing influence to advocate for human rights.

The genderless model believes that fashion can be a powerful medium for activism and has dedicated their modeling career to pushing and breaking boundaries as a genderless model. They are challenging the status quo and leading the charge for a more diverse and inclusive world and the fashion industry within it. “Fashion is the best tool for moving forward with human rights, in general,” Ilrjani said. “Fashion is the fifth biggest influence on people’s perspective in pop culture, right after the media. Now, more than ever, fashion has a powerful influence due to social media and influencer culture. Fashion is part of the everyday lives of millions of people worldwide, and it has grabbed our maximum attention with its exponential growth every day. So, a message is better transmitted through fashion, rather than TV, and this is known by those who control fashion.”

Elton Ilirjani’s journey as a model has been characterized by their activism which has garnered attention and aided their career. They have advocated for LGBTQIIA+ rights and showed the world that everyone is important regardless of the gender or sexual orientation they identify with. They began their journey in the fashion world in 2020 doing street-style fashion for social media. After taking a few photographs in the downtown Manhattan district of SoHo in New York City, they started gaining some attention, and people began to notice them for their style. “Street style fashion gave me the direct connection I needed to forge with the people. I saw people trying to dress like me, which is good as it helped me grow,” Ilirjani said.

The Albania-born model has championed equality since they hit the spotlight in the modeling world, and they remain committed to getting their voice to every part of the world. They founded Dignity Global Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on protecting human and civil rights for women and the LGBTQIIA+ community in the workplace. They also created the “Employment Equality Index” for the LGBTQIIA+ community, which evaluates and ranks private companies and public institutions based on their adherence to human and civil rights in the workplace in the western Balkans countries.

Elton Ilirjani walks the talk with their career and everything they stand for. As the first gay man in Albania to come out of the closet to the media in 2006, they are no strangers to defying the norm. And amid the numerous advocacies they have championed, they keep leading many more campaigns, such as the “Lipstick Movement” and the “Nobody is Straight” movement geared toward LGBTQIIA+ inclusivity.

In February 2023, Elton Ilirjani will walk two runway shows at the New York Fashion Week. He’ll sport the BESFXXK brand as part of the Concept Korea runway show on February 14, 2023, and the House of Mua Mua brand on February 12 in New York City. As someone who has never been signed to a modeling agency, Elton Ilirjani has built a solid career from scratch. In addition to the numerous successful fashion campaigns they have been a part of as a model and brands they have worked with, Elton Ilirjani is also a corporate founder and director. They are the founder and director of The HeadHunter Group, which operates and has offices in fifteen countries globally. They have also been featured in Forbes, V Magazine, LA Weekly, and Miami Living Magazine, among others.

On their choice of adopting street-style fashion, Elton said: “Street-style is the kind of fashion you can touch and feel. Everyone sees you regardless of the activity you’re participating in. It mirrors everyday life; everyone feels like they can have that.” Elton’s street-style fashion has helped them catch brands’ attention, including BESFXXK, which happened through Instagram after buying their clothes and tagging them. They hope to continue being authentic and championing major causes to draw more attention to human rights and inform the world about the importance of treating everyone equally and with respect regardless of how they identify themselves.


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